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Working at Height on a Commercial or Industrial Roof: How to Properly Protect Workers?



Working at Height on a Commercial or Industrial Roof: How to Properly Protect Workers?



Working at Height on a Commercial or Industrial Roof: How to Properly Protect Workers?

When working at height on a flat surface, such as a roof or floor of a building under construction, it is necessary to protect workers from the risk of falling. To do so, there are many options. In order to facilitate the choice of the best solution in terms of safety, cost and viability, Barry offers you some possible solutions:

The first step in working at heights is to try to eliminate the risk of falls at the source.

We invite you to use our Risk of Falling Elimination Form to guide you in your approach and to facilitate the documentation of your Height on a Commercial or Industrial Roof: How to Properly Protect Workers? When working at height on a flat surface, such as a roof or floor of a building under construction, it is necessary to protect workers from the risk of falling. To eliminate risk at its source. https://www.barry.ca/pages/eliminating-the-risk-of-falling-the-first-step-to-working-at-heights

There are several types of protection for working on an unprotected commercial or industrial roof. However, do they all offer the same level of safety and effectiveness?

Popular thinking (far too widespread in our opinion) is to systematically associate working at heights with wearing a safety harness. In fact, wearing a harness should be reserved strictly for situations where there is no other adequate means of protection.

Types of systems

Illustrations

 Warning Line

Warning Line

Fall protection safety nets

Fall protection safety nets

Guardrails and portable guardrail

Guardrails and portable guardrail

 Horizontal lifelines

Horizontal lifelines

Ballast and counterweight

Ballast and counterweight

 

Contact Us to speak with a specialist to help you choose the best option for your needs.

Now let's compare these 5 types to determine which one best applies to a particular situation.


Warning line

Warning lines are a very good solution for work in the center of a roof, and when several workers at height are simultaneously exposed to the risks of falling roofs.

Positive points :

  • Easy to implant
  • Can be installed temporarily or permanently
  • Annual inspection very easy to do

Negative points :

  • Requires some supervision and control by supervisors
  • In some cases, a crane may be required to mount the components on the roof during installation

 

This option is often the best for snow removal work and to limit access to the roof edges.

If safety rules are respected, this type of system offers a very high level of safety at low cost.

Recommendation :

Barry strongly recommends the use of this type of system on a commercial or industrial roof.


Fall Protection Safety Nets

Vertical safety nets are an option that deserves to be used much more. Indeed, its safety level is probably the highest of all protection systems. We are seeing its use increase considerably in many sectors and countries where we operate.

Positive points :

  • Lightweight and easy to install
  • Requires floor and ceiling anchors
  • Very high level of security
  • Level of training and rescue plan required are almost nil
  • Easy to move and relocate as needed

Negative points :

  • Requires implementation by an engineer
  • Requires floor and ceiling anchors
  • More difficult to install on roofs or structures with very high ceilings
  • Annual inspection required
Fall Protection Safety Nets

 

If properly designed and installed, vertical nets are the best solution in terms of cost, safety and viability.

Recommendation :

Barry strongly recommends the use of this type of system on a flat surface when an upper structure is available for anchoring.


Guardrails and portable guardrail

In recent years, several manufacturers have been offering new solutions for self-supporting guardrails, and in some cases, these options are fantastic and very economical, especially for flat roofs with parapet.

Positive points :

  • Installation with some access tools that do not require a fall protection system.
  • Often very easy to install
  • Requires very limited user training
  • Easy inspections by non-technical people
  • Relatively low purchase and installation costs
  • Highly sustainable systems
  • Flexible and reusable systems

Negative points :

  • Requires a crane during installation to mount the components on the roof.
  • Not effective for pitched roofs
  • Under certain winter conditions, offers limited protection when snow is present.
Guardrails and portable guardrail

 

 

 

The actual level of safety is higher than the lifelines, and the viability in terms of worker supervision makes guards an economical, safe and viable long-term solution.

Recommendation :

Barry strongly recommends the use of this type of system on a commercial or industrial roof.


Horizontal lifelines and fixed anchor

Horizontal lifelines and fixed anchors are often the first reflex of employers who systematically associate the use of slings with working at height.

Although it is possible to make safe use of fall protection equipment, in our experience, more than 80% of the time wearing a harness is not the best solution.

Positive points :

  • Very efficient for work at more than 4 meters from the ground or an obstacle.
  • Very effective when the point of attachment is higher than the worker's D dorsal level
  • Highly effective when all stakeholders are trained and all systems are approved by an engineer.

Negative points :

  • Misperception of simplicity of implementation by users and employers
  • Complex and costly design and implementation
  • Structural reinforcements often required
  • Requires a rigorous annual inspection program
  • Requires training of users and supervisors on usage and inspection
  • Requires specific training and equipment for rescue
Horizontal lifelines and fixed anchor

 

The cost as well as the viability of horizontal lifelines and fixed anchors are often a disadvantage, but it is mainly the real level of safety that is lacking since it is complex to rescue a person who has fallen.

Recommendation :

Barry rarely recommends the use of this type of system on a commercial or industrial roof.


Ballast and counterweight

Recently, we have seen a multitude of types of counterweights appear on the market which, at first glance, seem to be magical options.

In some cases, it is possible that these options may be functional, but do not forget to have their specific use certified by a competent engineer and to follow the instructions to the letter.

Positive points :

  • Versatile
  • Easy to install

Negative points :

  • Strength of attachment points may not comply with provincial regulations.
  • Requires in situ certification to ensure that the structure is strong enough to support the counterweight.
  • Risk of damage to the structure
  • Requires a great deal of supervision given the ease of not following the manufacturer's recommendation
  • Variable efficiency depending on the type of surface and climatic conditions

 

Recommendation :

Despite some advantages, Barry rarely recommends the use of this type of system on a commercial or industrial roof.

Contact us to speak with a specialist to help you choose the best option for your needs.

Posted by Marc-André Pilon on


Note: Barry sells to companies, professionals, and government only.
Note: Minimum quantities may apply to some products, $150 minimum purchase, sales by phone, fax, website and email only.
Note: This information is for reference only and is subject to change without prior notice.
Note: Any Barry document received by email, downloaded or printed is uncontrolled.

Note: Barry sells to companies, professionals, and government only.
Note: Minimum quantities may apply to some products, $150 minimum purchase, sales by phone, fax, website and email only.
Note: This information is for reference only and is subject to change without prior notice.
Note: Any Barry document received by email, downloaded or printed is uncontrolled.

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Montreal (Quebec)
Canada, H1P 1A2

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Page URL: https://www.barry.ca - Print Date: 2021-06-20 11:31
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